Enhancing Civic Engagement Among All Citizens, with Focus on Students, to be Topic of Feb. 2 Lectures

Photo: Paul Loeb MIDDLETOWN, N.Y. – Noted author Paul Loeb, who has written an array of books on political and social activism, will present a pair of lectures at SUNY Orange’s Middletown campus on Friday, Feb. 2, addressing how faculty members can become more engaged in social and community issues, with a focus on how teachers and professors can foster increased engagement among their students.

Loeb, whose visit is sponsored by the College’s Center for Teaching and Learning, will discuss social and community activism during a general lecture from Noon to 1 p.m. in Harriman Hall, Room 111. Admission is free. Later that afternoon in the SUNY Orange Library, Loeb will present a faculty workshop highlighting methods professors can use to boost their students’ community involvement.

“Paul’s lecture is a great opportunity for SUNY Orange students to learn a great deal about their chosen field of study. They also come to see that knowledge is power, and with greater understanding comes increased responsibility,” said Dr. Jennifer Merriam, a SUNY Orange biology professor and coordinator of the College’s Center for Teaching and Learning. “As educated citizens we begin to recognize the problems of our world. We also see that we have an obligation to work on solutions to those problems.

“This is a daunting task and we may be left wondering, ‘How we can make really make a difference?’ Paul Loeb is a speaker who tells us how we, as individuals and communities, can become more active in making the world a better place,” Merriam added.

Loeb has spent more than 30 years researching and writing about citizen responsibility and empowerment, with emphasis on what makes some people choose lives of social commitment, while others abstain. He has written five books; lectured at colleges and universities around the country; and been a lead speaker at numerous educational and professional conferences. His January 2002 talk to the annual provost’s conference of the American Association of State Colleges & Universities inspired the Association’s American Democracy project, now involving 200 campuses.

Loeb's first book, “Nuclear Culture,” explored the daily world of atomic weapons workers in Hanford, Washington. “Hope in Hard Times” examined the lives and visions of ordinary Americans involved in grass roots peace activism. “Generation at the Crossroads: Apathy and Action on the American Campus” explored the values and choices of American college students. “Soul of a Citizen: Living with Conviction in a Cynical time” looks at what it takes to lead lives of social commitment despite all the obstacles, and now has 95,000 copies in print through twelve printings.

His new anthology on political hope, “The Impossible Will Take a Little While,” was published in 2004 by Basic Books and named the #3 political book of that year by the History Channel and the American Book Association, and won the Nautilus Award for best social change book of the year. It now has 60,000 copies in print.

For more information, contact the SUNY Orange Center for Teaching and Learning at (845) 341-4178.

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Mike Albright
Communications Officer
115 South Street
Middletown, NY 10940